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Drinking in the streets? Charlotte weighs adoption of social districts

Charlotte's City Council will hear public comments Monday night on the possible adoption of social districts within the city, which would allow people to drink alcohol on the streets within designated boundaries.

Cities such as Kannapolis and Salisbury have already adopted social districts.

"The [North Carolina] cities that have currently 'opted in' have one district [that] is located in a downtown, 'main street,' or 'sport venue environment'," according to information on the Charlotte City Council website. It adds that the districts are not adjacent to residential areas.

Monday's opportunity for public input on the issue of social districts precedes a City Council vote that will take place on Aug. 22.

If it passes, there’s yet another hurdle, council member Larken Egleston explains.

"If and when this is approved on August 22, that doesn’t mean there will be a social district operating on August 23rd," Egleston said. "This is step one of what will be a two-step process. This is really greenlighting the idea of social districts in Charlotte.

"Each one will have to be approved individually, and if you live in a community that might become [a social district] there will be community conversations taking place before those approvals."

For example, if a group of Plaza Midwood business owners would like to create a social district, they would need to put forth a proposal to be considered by the City Council.

Monday night's meeting will take place at 5 p.m. You can read more about the proposal here.

Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.